Teaching young people about contraception encourages them to have sex
Sex-ed programs delay the onset of sexual activity
Sexual education programs that include discussion of contraception actually delay the onset of sexual activity.
In a 2007 report, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy examined the effects of both comprehensive sexual education programs and abstinence-only programs. It found that more than 40 percent of 48 comprehensive programs delayed the initiation of sex, while not a single one of the programs hastened the initiation of sex:
Two-thirds of the 48 comprehensive programs that supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens had positive behavioral effects. Specifically, over 40 percent of the programs delayed the initiation of sex, reduced the number of sexual partners, and increased condom or contraceptive use; almost 30 percent reduced the frequency of sex (including a return to abstinence); and more than 60 percent reduced unprotected sex. Furthermore, nearly 40 percent of the programs had positive effects on more than one of these behaviors. For example, some programs both delayed the initiation of sex and increased condom or other contraceptive use.
No comprehensive program hastened the initiation of sex or increased the frequency of sex, results that many people fear. Emphasizing both abstinence and protection for those who do have sex is a realistic, effective approach that does not appear to confuse young people.